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There are some jobs where a classic white or clear caulk just won’t cut it – you’ll need a custom color to match the surrounding material or paint color. Obvious caulk lines can look unprofessional and distract from the flow of the room.

As a contractor, you need a custom color solution that’s effective and easy to use. Here’s the easiest way to get an exact color match that will wow your clients!

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Knowing how to caulk a sink is essential for any kitchen remodel. Not just any caulk will do for this project – you’ll need a high performance caulk or sealant that gives your customers long-lasting results. High quality sealants are more durable and, for a contractor, that means fewer repairs for your team and less hassle for your customers. Read on to learn how to caulk a sink and why the type of caulk you use makes a difference.

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You just applied the perfect caulking bead. So, then what’s up with the caulk shrinkage?

It was even with the surface. You even outlined the joint with painter’s tape to make sure it looked clean when done. Now, a couple days later, the caulk bead has gone concave. It’s the incredible shrinking caulk! What happened?

Have no fear: shrinking caulk is actually a good thing.

Shrinking Caulk = Better Performance

Fact is, shrinking caulk is a sign of good elasticity. In order to achieve that elasticity, fewer fillers are used. Those fillers are great for creating a nice, even caulk line with the surface, but too many fillers create a thick, hard sealant with no stretch. It will quickly crack, creating rework for you. (Ugh!)

Properly applied caulking stretches and lasts longer. Caulk that is properly applied, as this picture shows, stretches better and lasts longer.

But why do I need elasticity?

Because homes move. Your bathtub moves every time you get in and out of it. Your window shifts with the wind, and your door frame shrinks every time you turn on the heat. All of this movement stresses the sealants used in those areas. A nice, non-shrinking caulking product will look great when first applied, but at the first sign of movement, it will crack or lose adhesion. And we’re pretty sure that repairing cracked caulk isn’t what you enjoy doing with your weekends. So avoid cracked caulk by using high-performance, ultra-elastic sealants. All of Sashco’s products are formulated with obscene amounts of elasticity to last longer.

Caulk needs to stretch, as demonstrated here by Sashco's Big Stretch.
Homes move. Caulk needs to stretch. Sashco’s Big Stretch really does stretch this much.

But I don’t like how shrinking caulk looks, so what can I do?

Simply apply more caulk a day or two later. You’ll achieve the even caulking bead look you want without sacrificing performance. (Make sure you don’t apply it too thickly or it won’t stretch properly. See Caulking 101 for more details.)

Most importantly, have peace of mind knowing that a slightly concave caulk joint means your hard work is going to last longer. You have more important things to do than repair failed caulking anyway, right?

See also:

Caulking 101

How to Repair Torn & Cracked Caulking

VIDEO: Where to Use Big Stretch® Caulking

Why use caulk? What is its purpose? We’ve got some caulking tips for you!

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A trip to the southwest and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains were the catalysts for our log home “love affair.” We knew we would not be happy until we had one! Having a construction background, I decided to build our dream log home. That was thirty-three years ago, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Texas-Claussen-Home-1200

Love for
Log Homes

Log homes are such unique structures that working on them brings us a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. Nothing is more gratifying than the praise and thanks received from satisfied customers.  Walking into a log home is like receiving a big warm hug from someone you love and we feel privileged to work on them, as well as live in the one we built.

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Paul Peebles, our very own log home expert, talks about how to restore a flooded log home in this month’s Experts Corner article. Thanks to Satterwhite Log Homes for providing the photos below from their flooding a couple of years ago.

Blog Post - Restore Log Home

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Can you caulk over silicone? In a word, no.

No, your new caulk won’t stick to silicone caulk. Sorry to be so abrupt, but it’s the truth. You can stop reading now if you don’t want all of the details and the whys. Here at Sashco, we love the “whys,” so we’re trudging ahead.

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We hear you: Lexel® and Through the Roof!® are sticky.

An example of stringy caulking An example of stringy caulking. Look familiar?

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Flashing tape being installed (Photo courtesy www.mfmbp.com/wpblog)
Flashing tape – also called self-adhered flashing – being installed (Photo courtesy www.mfmbp.com/wpblog)

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We’ve got all the caulk geek answers you could ever hope for on how water-based caulks and sealants dry (aka cure).

Rain and humidity and my caulk won’t dry – oh my!

The United States experienced the wettest May on record in 2015. All of that rain was great for flowers, trees, and weeds. For some, it created another problem: caulking that took a lot longer than normal to dry. Why? Keep reading!

How do water-based caulking and sealants dry (aka cure)?

The short answer is: by evaporation. (Here is a quick trip back to elementary science for a great explanation.)

The combination of wet weather and the accompanying cooler temperatures creates an abundance of water vapor (humidity) in the air. Higher humidity means moisture can’t evaporate as quickly, and frizzy hair and mushrooms thrive!

This means that water-based caulking and sealants don’t cure as quickly, either.

Keep in mind, most manufacturers give instructions based on ideal temperatures and humidity (70⁰F and 30% or lower relative humidity.) When these ideals are out of whack, cure times will change.

That quick-dry 30 minute caulk may now take a few hours to cure. In addition, with all caulking products, the larger the joint that is filled, the longer the product will take to dry. That 1” wide crack in your concrete sidewalk may take up to 2 weeks to dry under ideal conditions. In humid conditions, it may take up to a month or more. And don’t forget – surfaces that hold moisture (like concrete that has gotten wet from rain or sprinklers) will add to that!

So, does this mean you shouldn’t caulk anything right now?

Keep caulking to keep moisture and bugs outside. Keep caulking! It’s important to keep moisture and insects where they belong – outside.

Absolutely not! It’s important to keep all of that moisture out. It does mean taking some extra precautions to protect the caulking during the early stages of drying. For instance:

•  Cover it: Put some plywood over that sidewalk crack for the first 2-4 days to protect it from direct rain. Or, put some plastic sheeting over the window you just caulked to protect it.

•  Then, uncover it: When it’s sunny and warm, let the sunshine in! The warmth will help the caulking cure, even in humid conditions.

•  Don’t touch: Keep fingers, toes, and tools out of fresh caulking for the first 24-48 hours after application to allow that initial drying process to happen. Even after that, the sealant may remain soft and somewhat tacky for a while.

•  Bring out the fans: To speed up the drying process, point a fan or two directly on the sealant.

•  Don’t worry: Though it may be soft and tacky for a while, the caulk will still hold its seal to keep out rain.

It’s also a perfect opportunity to practice patience.

You know that saying, “A watched pot never boils?” Well, a watched caulk bead will never cure. As long as the caulk is holding back that moisture, no watching is necessary.

See also:

All About Sashco’s High-Performance Caulks & Sealants

Which Sashco Caulk Should I Choose?

VIDEO: How To Caulk Windows and Doors

How To Caulk: Caulking 101

How To Fix Concrete Cracks